Bronco Motorsports Finishes 1st in SoCal Shootout Race Competition
By Anais Hernandez, October 25, 2022
On October 15, Cal Poly Pomona’s Bronco Motorsports team won its first competition of the season, placing first in the SoCal Shootout.
The team competed in the second annual SoCal Shootout Scholastic Racing hosted by Adams Motorsports Park in Riverside, where they won the top prize of $1,000 and a hardware prize.
After weeks of testing and improving their race car, Bronco Motorsports headed straight for P1, securing first place against six other universities with UC Berkeley in second and the University of Southern California in third place.
Other participants included USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, CSU Fullerton and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
The team’s vehicle, the BM-22, suffered damage given the car’s previous use and unfamiliar terrain.
“Everyone is happy that we got to compete with USC, UC Berkeley and play on a real racetrack for the first time in over two years,” said Bronco Motorsports planner and chill captain Isaac Haynes. “That being said, our car has taken a lot of wear and tear on the track because we didn’t design it for this type of track.
Racing on this track has given the team more insight into fine-tuning errors ahead of the big international competition in May 2023.
“The runway itself was a good stress test,” said Dekota Fripp, company manager and BM-22 pilot.
“This track has taught us a lot more about the car than we would otherwise have learned on flatter surfaces, because it’s so extreme with straight-line speed.”
Fripp’s previous experience in karting gave the team an edge during the competition. His strategy and knowledge of the track pushed the car to its limits and helped the team to victory.
During the opening laps of the race, the BM-22 race car passed the USC and UC San Diego cars, surprising the public and the team members. BM-22 set the fastest lap of the event, with UC Berkley four tenths of a second behind.
“We have that budget,” Bronco Motorsports president Marvin Sevilla said. “We have this money. We have this car. We’re not here to mess around. We’re here to run, and that’s exactly what we did.
The team expressed ambitions to make further modifications to the car, but time constraints held them back. Many projects were abandoned, but some changes were made to improve vehicle performance.
The team changed the fuel to C-85, which has a higher ethanol content, ran cooler and gave the vehicle more power on the track.
Brake captain David Bocanegra shared that it was a stressful time after discovering the brakes were well beyond use a week before the race.
A warped rotor required time-consuming testing and obtaining new rotors from sponsors in time for competition.
“I’m proud of how well everyone is able to juggle schoolwork and their formula,” said design manager Roger Herrera. “I see the work that each of them does, and I’m really proud of them for that.”
Map Bronco Motorsportss to continue to use the same chassis but will continue to refine the suspension setups and improve the bodywork of the car. They also plan to use the prize money on machine services, tools, and team apparel.
The team continues its efforts to be a top racing team by offering its members and engineering students the opportunity to gain knowledge of the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers systems.
For the rest of the season, they’ll be giving in-person presentations on car-specific systems like powertrain, vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, electricals and even the business side of the team.
Herrera also mentioned that the team has begun designing the 2023-2024 race car and is preparing for its next presentation in mid-November, where they will discuss the unveiling of the design.
“We will continue to build a team and focus on building the best car possible,” Sevilla said.
CPP’s FSAE team will rev its engine for another hopeful victory in May 2023 at Michigan International Speedway, where it will compete internationally with other universities.
Feature image courtesy of Ryan Chang